Skip to main content

tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 30, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

10:00 pm
your kids compete in the world's most exciting and yet competitive competition. it's as tough as it gets. maybe it's worthy of its own event. for the raisman's a gold medal performance. that's all for us tonight. "anderson cooper" starts now. we begin tonight keeping them honest. with new developments concerning unproven allegations by five republican members of congress that our government is being infiltrated by radical jihadists, members of the muslim brotherhood. we've reported on this numerous times over the last couple weeks. because we have, i've had people and groups point fingers at me, and saying i'm ignorant and nigh ave or aiding and abetting muslim extremists. i've seen radical islamists up close in bosnia, somalia, iraq and other places. i've seen the horrible things they've done overseas and in this country as weapon.
10:01 pm
later in the broadcast, we're going to look at the role foreign jihadists are playing in syria right now. i'm not defending radical islamists nor am i naive to their beliefs. but what i am talking about is people working in this government making allegations or spreading innuendos about them without any direct evidence. they're dragging people's names and reputations through the mud. here are the five people we are talking about, michele bachmann, trent franks and others. newt gingrich refers to the others as the national security five. he blames american elites for being blinded to the political threat. it verges on a psychosis. he goes on, the national security five are doing their duty and asking difficult
10:02 pm
questions designed to make america safer. we think you deserve a look at the people they've been targeting and the tactics they've been using. they've named these two asking a federal inspectors general to investigate muslim brotherhood infiltration. on the right is mohammed elibiary. on the right is huma abedin. both have received threats since being named. some top republicans have risen to her defense. >> these allegations and the report from which they're drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated american and a loyal public servant.
10:03 pm
>> the bachmann five website that claims to connect ms. abedin to the muslim brotherhood in this convoluted way. through an organization her late father started decades ago which allegedly had the support of another guy who had another organization that might have had the support of another organization the muslim brotherhood. the website also makes allegations against her brother and mother. as a top aide to the secretary of state, miss abedin has a security clearance. and as such has undergone extensive background checks. now, last fall, the fbi gave him an award for, quote, his extraordinary contributions for specific cases in support of the fbi's counterterrorism mission. homeland security denies any muslim brotherhood penetration of their department. >> we have looked into it. the fbi looked into it. we have found no credible evidence that su infiltration
10:04 pm
is going on. >> again, neither congresswoman bachmann, nor her colleagues, have provided credible evidence, just insinuations. we've asked them five times and each time they've all refused. they're not really making allegations at all, just asking questions. remember, newt gingrich also said so in his politico piece and said so again today. >> i think all they asked for was an investigation. who's offering this advice to secretary clinton? i think it's totally legitimate to ask that question. >> no one's alleging anything, only asking questions. here's mitt romney's adviser john bolton. >> what i think these members of congress have done is simply raise the question. >> just raising questions. when asked by charlie rose whether he thought congresswoman bachmann was out of line, house majority leader eric cantor said no. >> if you read some of the reports that cover the story, i
10:05 pm
think her concern was about the security of the country. >> though none of these so-called national security five will talk to us, they are all defending their tactics they are perhaps more comfortable with. >> i wish some of these numb nuts would go out there and read the letter before they make these horrible allegations about the horrible accusations we're making. >> i guess we're part of the numbnut group. and, yeah, we've red the letters extensively. the letters name names and connect those names to sinister plots. what neither of the letters do is supply any direct evidence that justifies putting anyone in the spotlight. joining us now is senior congressional correspondent dana basch. also on the phone is john esposito, international affairs at georgetown university, founder of georgetown center for
10:06 pm
muslim christian understand. you've got some interesting information about a closed door meeting in which there appears to be a crack in the solidarity of congresswoman bachmann and her four colleagues, the so-called national security five. >> publicly as you've just said they're being unapologetic but privately one is expressing one regret. i was told that trent franks of arizona stood up in a meeting last week and told his colleagues that they maybe shouldn't have singled out huma abedin in particular by name. my source was a republican congressman in the room. it was confirmed by two other republicans. what i'm told is frank, said his regret was mostly in using huma's name and that it overshadowed the general point they were trying to make which you exprsed clearly. they say their concern is the muslim brotherhood and its influence in the federal government. i should also tell you that my sources say franks told his republican colleagues that he still stands behind that question, and what he wants the inspectors general across the government to invest gate. but using huma's name was a bad move. you talked about the fact that
10:07 pm
republican leaders, at least some of them, have really shunned this letter. it's not just the leadership. it's also some in the rank and file scratching their heads. i talked to a pretty conservative congressman today who told me, quote, a lot of us, conservatives like me, are saying are you kidding me, they're idiots for making this mistakes. why go after, in this person's words, hillary's staff person without evidence. which he said they clearly don't. >> you said this whole thing is a wake-up call. how so? >> i think what it really points to -- and i think that the event from even the issue of the so-called mosque at ground zero. that, you know, we have a kind of deep anti-islam anti-muslim movement here within the united states. the irony is if you look at a lot of major polling, including a recent abc poll, you find out that a considerable number of
10:08 pm
people are willing to believe anything about islam and muslims. and people like newt gingrich and bachmann and others play to that for political reasons. in your comments, what's really interesting to me is that what you kept saying and what most people keep saying in effect is where's the beef? these people make claims all the time. and, like most racists and anti-semites, there's no obligation placed on them to demonstrate what my undergraduates say, which is any statement you make is an assertion, unless you provide hard supportive evidence. i think going after abedin is the most -- i think that conservative republican that was being quoted earlier. it's the most egregious indication of what our problem is. this is a woman who was born and raised here, educated here, had
10:09 pm
all kinds of security clearance, worked for the secretary of state, who, from anybody's position, would not be seen as anybody who's particularly soft on terrorism. she's in the right place with regard to -- for many people. i would disagree at times. with regard to israel and palestine. huma abedin is below the radar. she is a muslim. but it's not as if she's anybody who speaks out publicly on muslim issues, et cetera. so to target her, one has to ask the question, why? >> well, professor, also, i imagine it's got a chilling effect on other -- on just muslims works at all levels of the u.s. government, who suddenly -- if huma abedin is under suspicion, i assume by these congresspeople, i assume they are as well, at a time when we are fighting a war against radical islamists and we need
10:10 pm
arab speakers and we need people who understand foreign cultures, and we need people in the government who are different faiths. >> that's right. the reality of it is if you take a look at, for example, the obama administration, and let me say this ahead of time, i was a strong supporter of president obama. but with the reality it, elections and appointments, where are there muslims in senior positions in the government? they are not. president has visited mosques overseas. never visited a mosque in the united states. so there's a tremendous sensitivity to talk about there's some sort of infiltration within the government is really an absurd statement. i did a book recently called islamaphobia and the challenge of pluralism in the 21st century. and part of what really demonstrates, the reality of it is we don't want to face it. that we have a real problem in the u.s.
10:11 pm
it's not a problem with targeting terrorists. that's exactly what we should be doing. the problem is, we are brush stroking the vast majority of muslims and sending a message not only to them but to some politicians. you don't want to point to anybody with that kind of name or look, you just don't know whether they practice their faith or not. the fact is, if they are a muslim, you can wind up with these kinds allegations. when people like mccain and also members of the intelligence committee themselves, some of bachmann's own, if you will, colleagues, wind up backing away from it, the real question becomes why isn't the media every day in response to this not just talking about the story but just constantly saying to them, go with some hard evidence? what is your evidence on anything that you are saying? >> yeah, dana, i mean, does this
10:12 pm
play to congresswoman bachmann's base and louis gohmert's base? i mean, gohmert has made charges before about terror babies. terrorists bringing them here so they're born american citizens. and then bringing them back to, you know, countries in the middle east where they're raised up as terrorists for 20 years and then come back to the united states to attack us 20 years from now. even though there's no evidence of this. the fbi says they never heard of this. even though congressman gohmert says he has fbi contacts who says this is happening. is this just playing to the base? >> yes, this is very much playing to the base. there's no question about it. in fact, when i was doing my reporting on this today, i talked to senior republican lawmaker who just said point blank to me, anderson who said that in some circles, focusing on the story in the mainstream media, cnn by you, anderson cooper, is a great gift to these lawmakers in particular, because it really riles up the circle of supporters that they have.
10:13 pm
it's a small circle. but it is important to them. that really thinks they're doing the right thing here. and on that note, i talked to other aids about this as well, people who serve with them on capitol hill. who said that just on the substance of what they're trying to do, they actually think that they're sort of like canarys in the coal mine. that these five are trying to raise an issue that may be four, five, ten years from now, is going to be an aha moment. in fact, one senior gop aide said to me, these folks legitimately believe they're like winston churchill talking about a threat that no one else sees. >> appreciate it. professor john esposito, appreciate it as well. up next, raw politics. mitt romney's headline making overseas trip. will the tough talk help in november? what does the tone reveal about the kind of foreign policy president he'd be? do more busi. in here, opportunities are created and protected.
10:14 pm
gonna need more wool! demand is instantly recognized and securely acted on across the company. around the world. turning a new trend, into a global phenomenon. it's the at&t network -- securing a world of new opportunities. ♪ securing a world of new opportunities. i'm one of six children that my mother raised by herself, and so college was a dream when i was a kid. i didn't know how i was gonna to do it, but i knew i was gonna get that opportunity one day, and that's what happened with university of phoenix. nothing can stop me now. i feel like the sky's the limit with what i can do and what i can accomplish. my name is naphtali bryant and i am a phoenix. visit phoenix.edu to find the program that's right for you. enroll now. as the world around it. with the available lexus enform app suite, you can use opentable to make restaurant reservations.
10:15 pm
during the golden opportunity sales event, get great values on some of our newest models. this is the pursuit of perfection. get great values on some of our newest models. this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world.
10:16 pm
the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at thenewny.com. it's hard to see opportunity in today's challenging environment. unless you have the right perspective. bny mellon wealth management has the vision and experience to look beyond the obvious. we'll uncover opportunities, find hidden risk,
10:17 pm
and make success a reality. bny mellon wealth manageme like the elephant on my chest... he thought he was having a heart attack. she said, "take an aspirin, we need to go to the hospital." i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. i'm very grateful to be alive. aspirin really made a difference. mitt romney's in poland tonight. the final stop on a three country trip that's made headlines. his remarks on the olympics angered some british. he walked them back. his remarks in israel angered israelis, angered palestinians. he praised the israeli health care system, his critics point out in comparison with americans. but didn't mention that the israeli system is government run. something he's opposed to here at home. he also clarified earlier remarks about russia with wolf blitzer.
10:18 pm
>> the last time you and i spoke in an interview, you told me that russia was america's number one geostrategic foe. you still believe that? >> well, there's no question, but in terms of geopolitics, i'm talking about votes at the united nations. and actions of a geopolitical nature. russia is the number one adversary in that regard. it doesn't make them an enemy. it doesn't make them a combatant. they don't represent the number one national security threat. the number one national security threat of course to our nation is a nuclear iran. >> mr. romney has drawn praise from conservatives for his line on iran as well as his vocal support on israel. how will it affect his chance in november if at all? what does it say in how he'd run foreign policy if elected? let's talk about the raw politics with ari fleischer. an unpaid occasional adviser to the romney campaign. and also with us cornell belcher, a pollster for the obama 2012 campaign. do you think romney did what he
10:19 pm
needed to do overseas? >> in israel, he certainly did. even though i think it's been exaggerated, he did commit a mistake in england and it cost him the opportunity to bask in the glow of the olympics. but if he was running for prime minister, it might hurt him. he's running for president. in israel, i think he knocked it out of the ballpark. i think if the issue there is the impact this trip will have on the jewish community in the united states, calling jerusalem the capital is what those american jews who vote on the basis of foreign policy and defense will remember from this trip and also today of course giving him a virtual endorsement. that's the power of the trip for him. >> cornell, one of your campaign surrogates, former ambassador questioned romney's ability to be commander in chief. saying if he can't engage our allies on a simple topic like the olympics, how will he be tough enough to stand up against our enemies like iran? in fact, he articulated policy.
10:20 pm
it sounded pretty similar to president obama's. is that really, then a fair criticism? >> here's the problem. cnn's been covering it for two days now. it is gaffe after gaffe. you leave israel aft insulting the palestinians. and here's the problem, if you're, in fact, president romney, the problem is, you've now offended the palestinians. and they don't see you as a fair arbitrary. so in fact president romney would set the peace process back in the middle east. step back from sort of the politics back and forth of it. from a campaign standpoint, i know we want to say this one incident or that one incident this gaffe or that gaffe, isn't problematic. at this point, it's become accumulative. there is an aggregate problem here, after gaffe after gaffe. at some point from just a purely campaign standpoint, i have to pile on. like some of -- the campaign itself is problematic because some of these statements coming out right now should have never
10:21 pm
been green lighted. like the whole line of -- the cultural line with the palestinian stuff. someone along the process should have said, there's a way to talk about israeli exceptionalism without offending its neighbors around them. so that becomes problematic. no, you're not going to sort of win the presidency on foreign policy. this trip has not helped him. >> part of this i guess is making inroads among jewish-american vote. which i guess if you look at polls, traditionally has gone toward obama. is this -- do you think he won over some jewish-american voters? >> some. here's the equation. i'm on the board of the republican jewish coalition. i was just over in israel registering americans to vote. the jewish votes overwhelmingly vote democratic. the republicans are not going to get a majority. the question is, how big inroads can they get. if barack obama gets between 25% and 30% of the jewish vote, if he loses 3-1 is huge victory for republicans. it means florida goes republican. ohio likely goes republican. if he breaks 30%, those two states are in the bag and pennsylvania likely goes
10:22 pm
republican. that's the margin this race could come down to. especially if it's close. >> cornell, do you think he made inroads with jewish-american voters? >> i think it's tough to say he made inroads. the think the major news coming over the last two days has been about gaffe's. most of the press that's been covering right now -- i don't even know what his statements on israel is because everything i read is about the gaffes. what ari says is important. we're increasingly becoming a country of minorities. i think the republicans more broadly have to start competing for more of these minority votes, be it jewish voters or hispanic voters, especially in these key battleground states, if they're going to be a majority party 37 >> you got to read more than the huffington post here. that's why you've been reading about the gaffes, i think. >> well, they're -- >> the daily caller or something. we got to leave it here. thanks very much. the disabled veterans charity that's refused to answer our questions on camera, they're now bashing our reporting on
10:23 pm
twitter and their website. cnn's drew griffin has been investigating them for two years. response to their claims ahead on the program.
10:24 pm
those little things still get you. for you, life's about her. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away.
10:25 pm
ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. deadly diseases spreading through one country. details on that ahead. [ female announcer ] now you don't have to give up.
10:26 pm
you can give in with dreyer's slow churned light ice cream. we churn it slowly for all the rich and creamy taste with just half the fat. so now you can have your ice cream and it eat it, too.
10:27 pm
you can give in with dreyer's slow churned light ice cream. we churn it slowly for all the rich and creamy taste with just half the fat. so now you can have your ice cream and it eat it, too. tonight, a "360" follow-up. we've been reporting on a group called the disabled veterans national foundation. dvnf. we've been reporting on them for months now. this is the same charity and i use that word -- well, some questions. it is an alleged charity. this is the same charity that sent a shelter for homeless veterans thousands of bag, of coconut m&ms. the same charity that raised
10:28 pm
nearly $56 million over the past three years. i want to repeat that. they've raised nearly $56 miion over three years. but according to tax records and other documents, little of that $56 million raised has gone directly to help disabled veterans. instead, they've given nearly $61 million to a company they signed a contract with. a company to boost their mailing list. that company is called quadriga art. one of the world's largest direct mail providers to charities. $61 million they've given to quadriga art. the long story short, the senate finance committee is now investigating dvnf to see if it should keep its tax exempt status. we've tried to get dvnf to talk to us on camera but they refused. off camera, they had plenty to say about our reports. on their website they wrote, "cnn's anderson cooper 360 has run a series of misleading and inaccurate segments which have ranged from being unfair to irrational.
10:29 pm
despite being provided a multitude of information, ac 360 has knowingly withheld information that would have provided a balanced view of dvnf's work and fund-raising program." last week the charity attack our reporting on twitter writing, once again ac 360 has done another incorrect report. to see the real facts, visit helpingdisabledvets.com. they also tweeted anderson cooper dvnf will focus our efforts to help vets. we have given proof and documents to "a.c. 360" and will no longer waste our time with cnn. we obviously stand by our reporting. drew griffin, who spent two years investigating, joins me now. so, drurks i think first, we need to point out that all of their reresponsibles to our reporting is either on twitter or on their website. for years you've been trying to get them to talk on camera. >> all we want to know is how this charity got in such a pickle with this fund-raiser. we're not saying that dvnf and its volunteer board members are taking any money.
10:30 pm
we can tell all the money is going to this fund-raiser. we'd like to know how. we went to washington, baton rouge, even sacramento, to get an answer from dvnf. they will simply not meet with us. they've even gone through two public relations firms. now they're just resorting to tweeting. >> those tweets, even what they posted on their website, they insist they've given away as much as $16 million. >> yeah, but look at what they say on their website. in cash and requested items. gifts in kind. we've got no way to tell what they're talking about in terms of money. no proof they're giving away any money. we know they're giving away m&ms. navy shoes. basically donated items that they're redonating somewhere else. but all of the actual cash money raised is going to this private fund-raiing company in new york. dvnf remains indebted to that fund-raising company.
10:31 pm
even as they bring in new money, it's all going to this private company. >> again, i mean, to me, if i'm running a charity, and i'm on the up and up, and i want people to continue donating money, i would be completely transparent. i would want to answer any questions that people had, large or small. yet this group clearly is not doing that. you found even on the group's website the claims are hard to prove. >> yeah, your first point, anderson, that's number one, what everybody says about a charity. if a charity's on the up and up, they want to show their books. again, we've asked for two years and haven't seen that. again, on the website, just look at the front page of their website, you'll see a little thing on the very top about some webinar to help you if you're a vet. we clicked on it, it's not there. there's no link to find out where this webinar's going to take place. another thing we've seen pop up.
10:32 pm
crutches. they have a program to help provide crutches to disabled veterans. again, we called the company, millennial. we have no proof any of the crutches have been given away. they confirmed, yes, dvnf placed a very small order, 15 pairs of crutch, valued at $1,500. that may appear as a major program on the website and something they're tweeting about but as far as we know we're talking about 15 pairs of $100 crutches. and again, i don't know where they're going. >> that was one of tweets i saw about the crutches thing. they're giving away crutches. you're talking about 15 pairs of crutches. this is a company that's raised $56 million over three years and they still won't talk to us. no matter how many times -- you'll go anywhere, i'll go anywhere. i'll have them on any night they want. >> heck, i've gone everywhere, it seems, to find these people. as you read in that statement,
10:33 pm
they will simply not deal with us anymore. but they have to deal with the senate. the senate finance committee is investigating. i can tell you from inside that investigation, they're not happy with the first round of answers they got on dvnf on where the money is and isn't going. the senate investigators have asked for more clarification. there could be a little more trouble down the road for this group. >> they won't answer our questions. i challenge them to go on any network, msnbc, fox, anybody they want, and submit to actual questions from an actual reporter. because i would love to see the answers, even if they're not willing to talk to us. i think we all just want answers, and they're not giving them. it's incredible. drew, again, appreciate the reporting so much. the invitation's open, dvnf, ball's in your court. tonight syria's biggest city, the commercial hub is a raging battleground. will the fault of al assad be decided in the streets of aleppo? i'm going to talk to him about
10:34 pm
the involvement of foreign fighters in the fight now. ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network. there it is ! there it is ! where ? where ? it's getting away ! where is it ? it's gone. we'll find it. any day can be an adventure. that's why we got a subaru.
10:35 pm
love wherever the road takes you. wow, there it is. mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs g of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback at gas stations through september. it pays to discover.
10:36 pm
an african-american couple forced to move their wedding from a church. after a couple congregants complained. the complainers say they aren't racist. male spirit present. it's the priceline negotiator. >>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals. it's a faster way to get a great hotel deal without bidding. pick one with a pool, a gym, a great guest rating. >>and save big. >>thanks negotiator. wherever you are. ya, no. he's over here. >>in the refrigerator?
10:37 pm
10:38 pm
welcome back. tonight syria's biggest city aleppo is a battleground. the dead include 25 people in aleppo. this video purportedly shows some of the fighting in aleppo cnn can't vouch for the authenticity of it. with what we're hearing from witnesses on the ground, it appears to be occurring. street battles raging. attack helicopters. tanks firing in the city. all of this in syria's commercial hub. 200,000 people in and around aleppo have fled the shelling. conflicting reports about who controls the city's key neighborhoods. we do know that the so-called free syrian army scored a victory outside of aleppo today. in the meantime, there are questions growing about the fate of president bashar al assad. here's what leon panetta told our barbara starr today in an
10:39 pm
exclusive interview. >> i'm sure deep down assad knows he's in trouble and it's just a matter of time. >> what would you say to him? >> i would say if -- if you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you'd better get the hell out now. >> so did the u.s. government, other government agencies like your former agency, have operations in syria to help assure the security of the chemical weapons? >> again, i'm not going to comment on specific operations. only to tell you that we are taking every step possible to make sure that those chemical sites are secure. >> those chemical weapons, obviously, a major point of concern. one of many concerns. ivan watson's on the ground, inside syria. he joins me now. intense fighting in and around aleppo. both the assad regime and the opposition are claiming victories. what have you seen? what's the latest? >> reporter: with our eyewitness
10:40 pm
vantage point, what we saw was a rebel offensive that started at sunset sunday night 37 the rebels attacked the last syrian army checkpoint before the gates of aleppo to the north of the city. it was a firefight that lasted hours. and in the end the rebels overran this entrenched syrian army position that had more than a dozen tanks. it had machine guns firing into the night sky in all directions. hitting surrounding villages. in the end, they overran it. and today we saw what they captured. a number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, ammunition. tank rounds. and this was not only a moral victory for the rebels but a strategic one because they now control the main exit point to the north between aleppo, the biggest city in syria, and the turkish border. it's a crucial transit route. >> what does it tell you about the syrian regime forces.
10:41 pm
i mean, how dug in were those forces? >> they were behind earth berms with tanks. the rebels were clearly outgunned. we saw the syrian government fire. sprang out in all directions. calling artillery strikes from miles away, from within aleppo, we believe, that were pounding indiscriminately surrounding hilltops which were populated with villages, villages that the rebels have been controlling. what was striking, anderson, was that the government forces weren't able to bring in any reinforcements to help their surrounded men. they brought in a helicopter after about three hours that circled overhead. it clearly wasn't enough to save the day. the rebels, who are supposed to be gearing up for the mother of all battles inside aleppo, they felt like they had enough fighters and enough ammunition and weapons to carry out this
10:42 pm
attack outside of aleppo. and capture and win the day within a matter of hours. it says something about the balance of power or the shift in it in the north syria. >> there was a disturbing article in "the new york times" today about the growing presence of al qaeda fighters or al qaeda inspired groups, foreign jihadists fighting on the side of the opposition inside syria against the assad regime. i'm about to talk to a foreign reporter who was actually held hostage by a group of foreign jihadists. what have you seen? who are these fighters? what is the makeup of the fighters you've seen? >> i haven't seen the fighters who took the two foreign -- the british and dutch journalists hostage. but i met their syrian guide. a terrified young man. who said that they talked like al qaeda. they threatened to kill him because he didn't have the proper beard and because he had brought infidels in to syria. now, when we got in touch with syrian rebels, the free syrian
10:43 pm
army commanders on the ground to ask them about this case, and to try to help the journalists, they were appalled at this news. they seemed to know who these guys were up in the hills. one commander told us, listen in an hour, i could take these guys out with my men. there is a broad spectrum of different rebel groups on the ground here, anderson. there are hundreds of rebel bands. some of them tend to be kind of secular. others seem to be islamist inspired. and some of them do have foreign volunteers. i've met three libyan foreign fighters who have crossed the border from turkey over the past week joining larger groups of fighters. and some of the syrians have misgivings about them being here. they don't want foreigners, certainly jihadists fighting their battle. others say, you know what, nobody has come to our rescue, nobody else has rescued us, so we'll take any help we can get to bring down the assad regime. >> yeah, interesting. ivan, dang ruse time. stay safe, thank you. with us now is dutch freelance
10:44 pm
photographer who was one of two foreign journalists held captive for a week until syrian opposition fighters rescued them. you were basically captured right after you crossed into syria on july 19. what happened? >> we were brought into the country by a smugglers ring and we were following a well-known smugglers route and -- well, after being into syria for an hour, we kind of were handed in to a jihadist movement who were camping at the very border. >> the people who were smuggling you into syria accidentally brought you to this camp of jihadists. who were the jihadists? were they actually any syrians? >> the majority of them were foreign. >> where were they from? >> they were from africa, pakistan, bangladesh, some guys from the u.k. >> did you instantly know you were in the wrong place? >> yeah, we immediately knew we were in the wrong place.
10:45 pm
we saw the men. they look really jihadist as well, wearing long beards, immediately talking religious. yeah, they were jihadists. >> did they think you were spies? >> they immediately started accusing us of being cia. well, we said we were journalists. they said we were suspicious looking, we looked military in their eyes. >> at some point, you tried to escape. did you just think you had to get out of there? >> yeah. in the very early stage of our imprisonment we tried to escape, because things were spiralling down. we thought that they weren't treating us as nice. we knew -- they knew we were journalists and still they were keeping us, so we thought the ransom option was coming into perspective. we also were afraid that they might hand us off to another islamic group 37 so we felt like we'd better take our fault into our own hands.
10:46 pm
in the second day of our captivity, we made a run for it. >> i understand you got a mile away but they caught you and they shot you. >> yeah, yeah, i mean, we thought it was -- the camp was quite desolate at the time we did it. we hadn't seen a couple of guys unloading trucks, and they saw us and then immediately we got caught in the crossfire. and they chased us down the valley and after one half mile they succeeded in shooting me. and five minutes later, they got a hold of john. they shot him as well. >> where were you shot? >> i was shot in the thigh. and john was shot in his arm. miraculously, only in the arm. because they must have -- at least 20, 30 bullets. at every single one of us. >> you could have easily been killed? >> yeah. at that point i thought i would be killed, yeah. >> were they al qaeda?
10:47 pm
>> we actually discussed it with them. we said, well what section are you guys? they said, well, can't say too much about it but we're not al qaeda although we know they're down the road from us. >> there are increasing reports about al qaeda growing influence or growing presence or jihadists, certainly, foreign fighter presence among the opposition. you were finally freed, though, by people in soldier's uniforms or outfits. who freed you? >> i think it must have been the free syrian army, a group like four or five of those guys. they came into the camp, demand to see us when they actually saw us, they were outraged, and took one of our guards, threatened him at gun point, took him along and took us along blindfolded and handcuffed. and directed us into their car. and we head off shooting in the air and leaving those jihadists behind.
10:48 pm
very brazen action, i have to say. >> i'm glad you and your colleague were able to get out safely. thank you so much for talking to us. >> thank you, anderson. >> very lucky to be alive. another story tonight. a pastor in mississippi asked a couple to change their wedding venue at the last minute. because some of the members in the church didn't want to see them get married there because they're african-american 37 pretty outrageous story. now some of the other church members are apologizing. details next. i want to win ♪ [ breathes deeply ] ♪ this is where the dream begins ♪ ♪ i want to grow ♪ i want to try ♪ i can almost touch the sky [ male announcer ] even the planet has an olympic dream. dow is proud to support that dream by helping provide greener, more sustainable solutions from the olympic village to the stadium. solutionism. the new optimism.™ ♪ this dream i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult.
10:49 pm
i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungalnfections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biolog medicine prescribed by rheumatologists. [romney singing]: oh beautiful, for spacious bioloskies,cine i'm barack obama and i approve this message. for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesty,
10:50 pm
above the fruited plain, america, america, god shed his grace on thee, and crowned thy good, with brotherhood... ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about market volatility. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 in times like these, it can be tough to know which ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 way the wind is blowing. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, we're ready with objective insights about ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 the present market and economic conditions. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 and can help turn those insights into ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 a plan of action that's right for you. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 so don't let the current situation take you off course. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 talk to chuck. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 is at the heart of every innovation. with the sleep number bed, it's not about soft or firm. it's about support where you find it most comfortable.
10:51 pm
the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape. wow! that feels really good. you can adjust it to whatever your needs are. take it up one notch. my sleep number is 50. i'm a 45. and now, for those interested in trying memory foam, sleep number introduces our new memory foam series-the only beds that combine cradling memory foam with the amazing dual-air adjustability of the sleep number bed. the memory foam bed that's perfect for couples. so whatever you feel like, sleep number's going to provide it for you. memory foam just found its better half. sleep number. hurry in now and enjoy introductory savings of $500 on our most luxurious memory foam bed set. plus, two free coolfit pillows! ends august 15th. only at one of our 400 sleep number stores, where queen mattresses start at just $699. > i'm isha sesay with a 360 news and business bulletin.
10:52 pm
the suspected colorado theater gunman was charged today with 142 counts, including 24 counts of first degree murder. that's two counts for each of the 12 people killed 10 days ago. the suspect also faces 116 counts of attempted murder and other charges. the pastor of a mississippi baptist church asked a black couple to change the venue for their wedding two days before the big day because some members of the congregation didn't want to see the couple married there. church leaders addressed the controversy during the services yesterday, saying many ministries are open to everyone. the couple disagrees. uganda's president is warning against handshaking and physical contact as the east african nation battles a highly contagious ebola virus. 14 people have died, at least six others are infected. a grid failure knocked out failure to about 350 million people in northern india today. the outage made for a travel nightmare, with thousands
10:53 pm
trappeded when at least 300 trains were delayed. and traffic gridlock for those in the capital, new delhi. anderson? >> two guys cutting open a watermelon. they split it open by putting a bunch of rubber bands around the watermelon. i didn't know this could work. let's take a look. who knew? never seen that done. i wonder how many rubber bands it takes. let's take a look at this slow motion version. >> let's see this again. >> it's so slow we can't even see it. wow! look at that. >> that is your homework for tonight. find out how many rubber bands it took. >> thanks very much. a piece of exercise you have to see. if you like the shake weight, the thigh master, you're going to love this new exercise machine we found in an infomercial from korea on the
10:54 pm
ridiculist nextnext.. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly
10:55 pm
producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now.
10:56 pm
10:57 pm
time now for the "ridiculist." and tonight we're adding whatever this thing is. it's a piece of exercise equipment from what appears to be a korean infomercial. it follows in the suggestive foot steps of such devices as the thigh master and shake weight. let's take a look, shall we? hey now. wow. hey now!
10:58 pm
that's not just suggestive. now, there's a language barrier of course. from what we can gather, this piece of exercise equipment finally addresses a very common problem. that problem being, when you desperately want to ride a horse in your living room, but when you try to mimic the motion without any equipment, you are very likely to fall down. >> see, problem solve. finally a way to pelvic thrust your way to fitness without falling on the floor which always happens to me. to think all we have in this country is the shake weight which looks downright demure by comparison. >> it's going to kick your butt. >> you just shake it back and forth. >> actually, forget the whole demure by comparison thing, it still looks like a "saturday night live" sketch.
10:59 pm
>> introducing the shake weight commercial dvd. featuring the shake weight commercial three times on a loop, then some static, and then nothing else. >> this dvd's great. first of all, you can show your friends that it's an actual commercial. that's kind of cool. >> sorry, but all i can think of any more is that time when i was playing a game on andy cohen's "watch what happens live." >> anderson cooper, show me how to use this shake weight and you get the point. he gets the point. >> i think i lost the game but i like to believe i won a small victory for dignity that day. i suppose i should just be thankful he didn't get me to demonstrate the korean horse riding machine on live television. >> hey, the olympics are going on 37 people want to get in shape. we're just doing a public service here. letting you know you dt